Tracie has been featured in

Is Your Food Killing You?

If you think this is an extreme question, you are probably unaware of what medical research now shows us about diet. The evidence is clear from all branches of medicine that some diets save your life and some kill you.

Are you paying attention to what goes into your mouth?

One of the most devastating diseases the Western world faces today is obesity. Obesity is when your weight and girth is dangerously excessive for your height and build. Nearly half of the adults and 17% of children in the US are obese. The follow-on health effects of that obesity is a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, digestive problems, allergic reactions, diabetes, cancer, depression, immobility, disability and earlier death.

Eating animal-based products increases that obesity as the body is unable to process saturated fats as well as plant-based fats. The Western animal-based diet changes the natural bacterial culture of the gut. It tends to knock out the good bacteria that we need in our gut to help digestion and protect against infection. It also increases the size of the absorption pathways in the gut, leading to leaky gut syndrome that continually lets toxins and poisons into your blood stream.

A plant-based, polysaccharide-rich diet changes the gut microbia, causing weight loss and rebalancing the gut so that the absorption pathways shrink back towards a normal human health condition. This lowers the likelihood of a whole host of diseases, including cancer.

We can actually measure the bacterial landscape of the gut experimentally. What can be seen is that overweight people eating an animal-based diet have a much lower level of good gut bacteria. Research also shows us that leaner, plant based eaters have a far higher number of good, friendly, necessary gut bacteria to aid digestion and prevent diseases.

Because the meat-eating gut is leakier, it absorbs more fat than the gut of a plant-based eater. So we are not only talking microbiology here in regards to the level of bacteria in the gut but also the changing mechanisms of how absorbent the gut is. Too absorbent is very bad because the gut is there to protect you against infection as well as absorb the necessary macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins), and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and amino acids).

As a naturopath trained in nutritional medicine, the first thing I am always looking at with all patients, whether they come to me for physical or psychological maladies, is how well the gut is functioning. It is a pathway by which we get nutrition and medications into the body and also one that can let in microbial infection and toxicity. In maintaining and restoring good health, the gut must be high up on the list of priorities.

So is your diet killing you? Making you sick? Or shortening your life? The answer is clearly and unquestionably ‘yes’ if you are eating an animal-based diet. The research is very clear: people on a balanced, plant-based diet have a lower incidence of disease, a higher level of every-day health and suffer fewer diseases into old age.

Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND is a Medical Nutritionist, Naturopath, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Director of the Australian Health and Education Centre. In her career she has helped thousands of people move towards a better way of eating naturally, weight loss and live a healthier life. She produced a Natural Eating and Vitality Hypnosis course that can be instantly downloaded from her website at

Speak Your Mind